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# Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific

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Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 01 Nov 2018, 07:03
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Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific value, has nevertheless prompted debate among physicists. The debate arose because quantum theory addresses the peculiar properties of minute objects such as photons and electrons. While one type of experiment shows that these objects behave like particles, with well-defined trajectories through space, another demonstrates that, on the contrary, they behave like waves, their peaks and troughs producing characteristic “interference” effects. However, scientists have failed to devise an experiment to demonstrate both behaviors simultaneously.

In the 1920s, two alternate interpretations of quantum theory attempted to resolve this apparently contradictory wave-particle duality. Physicists Niel Bohr argued that wave particle properties are not contradictory, but complementary. Contrary to our intuition that an object continues to exist in some determined form even though we cannot perceive it, he concluded that the physical reality of a quantum objects is actually determined before the object is observed via experiment.

Physicists Werner Heisenberg's “uncertainty principle”, by contrast, postulated that we cannot precisely determine two complementary properties, such as position and momentum, of a quantum object simultaneously: if we measure an object's position with absolute certainty, then there is an infinite uncertainty in its momentum, and vice versa. He concluded that although we are limited in our ability to measure objects at the atomic and subatomic levels, their position and momentum are nonetheless defined all along.

1) Which of the following does the passage mention as providing evidence of the dual nature of quantum objects?

a) Scientists' inability to measure the position and momentum of quantum objects simultaneously.
b) Scientists' inability to measure the momentum of the quantum objects with certainty.
c) The similarities in the appearance of particles and waves.
d) The tendency of quantum objects to exhibit well-defined trajectories only at either extremely high or extremely low speeds.
e) The behavior of quantum objects as either particles or waves depending on the type of experiment that is performed.

2) It can be inferred from the passage that if scientists were able to measure the position and momentum of quantum objects precisely and simultaneously, then the

a) theory that the dual properties of quantum objects are complementary would be proven.
b) basic postulate of the uncertainty principle would be refuted
c) distinction between particle behavior would cease to exist
d) debate about quantum theory among physicists would be unchanged.
e) trajectories of quantum objects through space would be more difficult to predict.

3) All of the following are mentioned in the passage as possible characteristics of quantum objects except:

a) a minute size
b) momentum
c) position in space
e) wave like behavior

4) Which of the following, if true, would most seriously undermine Bohr's conclusion about the physical reality of a quantum object?

a) The physical properties of particles and waves are inherently complementary.
b) Human intuition is not a factor in the interpretation of scientific data about quantum objects.
c) Results of experiments on quantum objects are sometime influenced by the expectations of the experiments.
d) The technology used in research on quantum objects has made tremendous advances since the 1920s.
e) Quantum objects posses distinct, continuously existing physical forms that do not depend on the experiments used to measure them

5. Q. The passage suggests that the debate among physicists mentioned in the first sentence has arisen in part because

A. the rapid movement of quantum objects poses an insurmountable obstacle to precise measurement
B. scientists have been unable to devise a single experiment that reveals both particle and wave properties of quantum objects simultaneously
C. the controversial nature of quantum theory has made it difficult for scientists to agree on what evidence is acceptable
D. division among physicists has resulted in the design of experiments that produce unintelligible experimental results
E. research efforts have been undermined by irreconcilable contradictions between equally compelling interpretations of quantum theory

6. Which of the following best describes the organization of the passage?

A. A thesis is introduced and then amended.
B. Arguments are presented, weighed, and then reconciled.
C. A problem is described and different interpretations intended to resolve the problem are presented.
D. Hypotheses are analyzed, their premises are refuted, and alternatives are suggested to replace the hypotheses.
E. A theory is advanced, opposing evidence is considered, and the theory is abandoned.

Originally posted by pragyakeshap on 04 Jul 2015, 00:56.
Last edited by workout on 01 Nov 2018, 07:03, edited 6 times in total.
Manager
Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 69
Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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06 Jul 2015, 10:16
1. confused b/w a & e
2. b
3. d
4. e
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Joined: 05 Nov 2012
Posts: 454
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2015, 20:42
Hi,
I have formatted the Paragraph, please follow forum guidelines for future posts.
10 mins , all correct.
Regards.
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2015, 09:16
1.E
2.A
3.D
4.B

Pls provide OA
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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29 Dec 2016, 22:27
I didn't understand the 2nd paragraph so got the final one wrong.
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2017, 07:47
I chose B for Question 4 because the second paragraph mentions that "Contrary to our intuition that an object continues to ..." so that if human intuition is not a factor in the interpretation, Bohr's interpretation makes no sense.

What's wrong in my explanation?

About the answer E, I don't understand because the 2nd paragraph just says "... is observed via experiment", which does not mean the experiment affects the physical forms of the objects.
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2017, 00:26
1
Could you please explain why the answer for the 4th question is E?
I chose B.
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2017, 19:21
2
1
I chose B for Question 4 because the second paragraph mentions that "Contrary to our intuition that an object continues to ..." so that if human intuition is not a factor in the interpretation, Bohr's interpretation makes no sense.

What's wrong in my explanation?

About the answer E, I don't understand because the 2nd paragraph just says "... is observed via experiment", which does not mean the experiment affects the physical forms of the objects.

Could you please explain why the answer for the 4th question is E?
I chose B.

Quote:
4) Which of the following, if true, would most seriously undermine Bohr's conclusion about the physical reality of a quantum object?

a) The physical properties of particles and waves are inherently complementary.
b) Human intuition is not a factor in the interpretation of scientific data about quantum objects.
c) Results of experiments on quantum objects are sometime influenced by the expectations of the experiments.
d) The technology used in research on quantum objects has made tremendous advances since the 1920s.
e) Quantum objects posses distinct, continuously existing physical forms that do not depend on the experiments used to measure them

Bohr's conclusion was "that the physical reality of a quantum object is actually determined before the object is observed via experiment." Even though this CONCLUSION is contrary to human intuition, Bohr's does NOT suggest that human intuition is not a factor in INTERPRETING scientific data. Human intuition might be used to interpret the data, and that analysis might yield CONCLUSIONS that are contrary to our intuition. Thus, choice (B) is not appropriate.

Bohr's conclusion is CONTRARY to the intuitive idea "that an object continues to exist in some determined form even though we cannot perceive it." Choice (E) says that the objects possess "distinct, continuously existing physical forms." Thus, choice (E) supports the intuitive idea. Since Bohr's conclusion OPPOSES the intuitive idea, choice (E) undermines Bohr's conclusion.
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2017, 00:05
Hi all,

I found another question for this passage. Could you please help me explain why correct option is B. Thanks.

Question: The passage suggests that the debate among physicists mentioned in the first sentence has arisen in part because:
A: the rapid movement of quantum objects poses an insurmountable obstacle to precise measurement
B: scientists have been unable to devise a single experiment that reveals both particle and wave properties of quantum objects simultaneously
C: the controversial nature of quantum theory has made it for scientists to agree on what evidence is acceptable
D: division among physicists has resulted in the design of experiments that produce unintelligible experimental results
E: research efforts have been undermined by irreconcilable contradictions between equally compelling interpretations of quantum theory
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2017, 01:30
1
thingocanhnguyen wrote:
Hi all,

I found another question for this passage. Could you please help me explain why correct option is B. Thanks.

Question: The passage suggests that the debate among physicists mentioned in the first sentence has arisen in part because:
A: the rapid movement of quantum objects poses an insurmountable obstacle to precise measurement
B: scientists have been unable to devise a single experiment that reveals both particle and wave properties of quantum objects simultaneously
C: the controversial nature of quantum theory has made it for scientists to agree on what evidence is acceptable
D: division among physicists has resulted in the design of experiments that produce unintelligible experimental results
E: research efforts have been undermined by irreconcilable contradictions between equally compelling interpretations of quantum theory

From passage:
While one type of experiment shows that these objects behave like particles, with well-defined trajectories through space, another demonstrates that, on the contrary, they behave like waves,their peaks and troughs producing characteristic “interference” effects. However, scientists have failed to devise an experiment to demonstrate both behaviors simultaneously.

The entire passage revolves around the confusion in the behavior of p&e (protons and electrons : Quantum particles)- "Does the Quantum particles exhibit charateristics of Wave or Particle"
If the scientists were able to demonstrate that p&e behaves as both wave and particle , then there would not have been any confusion.
--B--
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2018, 03:39
Hi . Can anyone please justify the first question . I selected A as answer .
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2018, 17:54
ashisplb wrote:
Hi . Can anyone please justify the first question . I selected A as answer .

Quote:
1) Which of the following does the passage mention as providing evidence of the dual nature of quantum objects?

a) Scientists' inability to measure the position and momentum of quantum objects simultaneously.
b) Scientists' inability to measure the momentum of the quantum objects with certainty.
c) The similarities in the appearance of particles and waves.
d) The tendency of quantum objects to exhibit well-defined trajectories only at either extremely high or extremely low speeds.
e) The behavior of quantum objects as either particles or waves depending on the type of experiment that is performed.

The passage does mention scientists' inability to measure the position and momentum of quantum objects simultaneously (choice A), but this does not represent evidence of the dual nature of quantum objects. Such evidence is presented in the first paragraph: "one type of experiment shows that [quantum] objects behave like particles" and "another [type of experiment] demonstrates that, on the contrary, [quantum objects] behave like waves". This corresponds to choice (E). This evidence demonstrates that quantum objects can behave like 1) waves and 2) particles and thus demonstrates the dual nature of quantum objects.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 12 Aug 2018, 07:31
Hi Verbal Experts (@GMATNinja),

Could you please explain Q.2. in detail. I am badly stuck among options A, B, and D and am not able to eliminate 2 out of these 3 options.

Originally posted by SidJainGMAT on 12 Aug 2018, 07:26.
Last edited by SidJainGMAT on 12 Aug 2018, 07:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2018, 07:29
pragyakeshap wrote:
Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific value, has nevertheless prompted debate among physicists. The debate arose because quantum theory addresses the peculiar properties of minute objects such as photons and electrons. While one type of experiment shows that these objects behave like particles, with well-defined trajectories through space, another demonstrates that, on the contrary, they behave like waves, their peaks and troughs producing characteristic “interference” effects. However, scientists have failed to devise an experiment to demonstrate both behaviors simultaneously.

In the 1920s, two alternate interpretations of quantum theory attempted to resolve this apparently contradictory wave-particle duality. Physicists Niel Bohr argued that wave particle properties are not contradictory, but complementary. Contrary to our intuition that an object continues to exist in some determined form even though we cannot perceive it, he concluded that the physical reality of a quantum objects is actually determined before the object is observed via experiment.

Physicists Werner Heisenberg's “uncertainty principle”, by contrast, postulated that we cannot precisely determine two complementary properties, such as position and momentum, of a quantum object simultaneously: if we measure an object's position with absolute certainty, then there is an infinite uncertainty in its momentum, and vice versa. He concluded that although we are limited in our ability to measure objects at the atomic and subatomic levels, their position and momentum are nonetheless defined all along.
1) Which of the following does the passage mention as providing evidence of the dual nature of quantum objects?

a) Scientists' inability to measure the position and momentum of quantum objects simultaneously.
b) Scientists' inability to measure the momentum of the quantum objects with certainty.
c) The similarities in the appearance of particles and waves.
d) The tendency of quantum objects to exhibit well-defined trajectories only at either extremely high or extremely low speeds.
e) The behavior of quantum objects as either particles or waves depending on the type of experiment that is performed.

2) It can be inferred from the passage that if scientists were able to measure the position and momentum of quantum objects precisely and simultaneously, then the

a) theory that the dual properties of quantum objects are complementary would be proven.
b) basic postulate of the uncertainty principle would be refuted
c) distinction between particle behavior would cease to exist
d) debate about quantum theory among physicists would be unchanged.
e) trajectories of quantum objects through space would be more difficult to predict.

3) All of the following are mentioned in the passage as possible characteristics of quantum objects except:

a) a minute size
b) momentum
c) position in space
e) wave like behavior

4) Which of the following, if true, would most seriously undermine Bohr's conclusion about the physical reality of a quantum object?

a) The physical properties of particles and waves are inherently complementary.
b) Human intuition is not a factor in the interpretation of scientific data about quantum objects.
c) Results of experiments on quantum objects are sometime influenced by the expectations of the experiments.
d) The technology used in research on quantum objects has made tremendous advances since the 1920s.
e) Quantum objects posses distinct, continuously existing physical forms that do not depend on the experiments used to measure them

Hi GMATNinja,

Could you please explain Q.2. in detail. I am badly stuck among options A, B, and D and am not able to eliminate 2 out of these 3 options.

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Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific  [#permalink]

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12 Aug 2018, 23:31
grr8pe wrote:
1. confused b/w a & e
2. b
3. d
4. e

a is an alternate interpretation of the duality theory whereas e is the evidence because from some experiments we can conclude that quantum objects behave like a wave, and from other that they have particle characteristics. so thats duality.
Re: Quantum Theory, although of tremendous scientific &nbs [#permalink] 12 Aug 2018, 23:31
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